London Vigil’s 15th anniversary – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th October 2017 Print
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Monday, 16 October 2017 12:24

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Captions

1.     Tatchell pushes ice cream in Mugabe’s face
2.     Tatchell smears ice cream over Mugabe’s head
3.     Fungayi Mabhunu presents the Vigil’s book to Peter Tatchell
4.     Peter Tatchell and Patson Muzuwa cut the anniversary cake

Every few years Mugabe wakes up and sees something blindingly obvious to everyone else. His latest insight is that, after 37 years of his rule, Harare’s central business district is a squalid, chaotic mess, overrun by street vendors desperately trying to scrape a living. 

Mugabe said he had only learnt about the situation last week when returning from South Africa. He must have had another eye operation there because those who can see would have noticed that the commercial heart of the  Sunshine City has for long been an eyesore (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zanu-pf-to-blame-for-cbd-chaos/).

After kicking Vice-President Mnangagwa downstairs in a cabinet reshuffle, Mugabe boarded his magic wheelchair to attend the 15th anniversary of the Vigil in London, where he offered veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell a Gushongo ice cream of the type which apparently narrowly failed to remove Mnangagwa from the cabinet altogether. Tatchell responded by thrusting the venomous-looking ice cream back in Mugabe’s face. Mopping his head, Mugabe  departed quietly in his wheelchair, perhaps accustomed to such treatment from his wife.

Peter Tatchell was presented with a copy of the new Vigil book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ in thanks for his tireless support over the years. As the book records, he was beaten up by Mugabe’s security guards for attempting to arrest him for human rights abuses.

Supporters from the earliest days of the Vigil joined us to mark the anniversary, among them Patson Muzuwa who, with Cephas Maswoswa, electrified the dancing, drumming and singing. Patson, along with Addley Nyamutaka, who also joined us with her son Mandla, were survivors of Mugabe’s torture. The Vigil was glad to welcome back other Vigil stalwarts such as Sue Toft and her daughter Francesca and her husband Kelvin Kamupira and Ian Pocock who looked after our facebook page. We were also joined by the Zimbabwean journalist Geoff Hill (formerly of the Washington Times) who has written several books on the Mugabe regime, and Christopher Maphosa whose story was dramatised in the play ‘The rain that washes’.

Other points

  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available on Amazon.
  • For more publicity about our anniversary check the facebook and twitter pages of the Peter Tatchell Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/PeterTatchellFoundation and https://twitter.com/PT_Foundation. Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for donning the Mugabe mask to play Mugabe. Thanks also to Cephas Maswoswas for bringing Mugabe’s wheelchair to the Vigil.
  • Thanks to all those who brought food etc for the Vigil’s anniversary: Daizy Fabian – samosas, Cephas Maswoswa, Deborah Harry and Mercy Bayipayi – big anniversary cake, Patience Muyeye – small cake, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages and juice, Rumbi Sambana – her own birthday cake and muffins. In addition Michelle Makoni brought napkins and plastic knives.
  • Thanks to Daizy Fabian and her team for making colourful posters for the anniversary: Esther Munyira, Maxmus Savanhu, Chido Makawa, Heather Chitate Makawa, Tawanda Chitate and Fungayi Mabhunu.
  • Thanks to the many who arrived early to help set up. Thanks to Roseline Makucha, Josephine Jombe and Patience Muyeye for looking after the front table, to Junior Madzimure, Rosemary Maponga, Linda Dodzo and Patricia Nyamunda for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and also for holding up posters to the passing traffic reading ‘Honk for democracy in Zimbabwe’, and to Jonathan Kariwo, Vimbai Chambara, Casper Nyamakura and Charles Mupawose for putting up the banners.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 69 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 21st October from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 28th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available on Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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